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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 4, 2003

4 April 2003
Russia To Renew Imports Of Spent Nuclear Fuel
Visiting Chelyabinsk Oblast on 2 April, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev said imports of spent nuclear fuel to Russia will be revived in 2003, Uralinformbureau reported on 3 April. Rumyantsev said the Moldovan parliament has ratified the agreement on transportation of radioactive materials between Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. Some 40 tons of nuclear wastes due to be imported from Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear-power station this year will be processed by the Mayak company in Chelyabinsk Oblast and the Krasnoyarsk Mining and Chemical Plant.

GAZ Plans To Fulfill Iraqi Contract...
Gorkii Automotive Plant (GAZ) General Director Aleksei Barantsev said the company will implement its contract with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on the delivery of 5,000 Volga taxis regardless of the outcome of the U.S.-led military action in that country, Nizhnii Novgorod news service reported on 2 April. Barantsev said the Iraqi side has already paid for the first consignment of 300 vehicles, which has been delivered to Baghdad. GAZ plans to send another 200 cars to Iraq in April and another 2,600 automobiles in May.

...As UAZ Denies Reports On Sales Of Jeeps To Iraq
Ulyanovsk Automotive Plant (UAZ) denied earlier reports that it sold to Iraq jeeps on which the Iraqi military planned to install antiaircraft weaponry, reported on 1 April, citing the UAZ press service. UAZ has made no direct sales to Iraq in the past two years and only held negotiations with the Iraqi Agriculture Ministry on the delivery of 500 UAZ civil vehicles but did not sign any contracts, the report said.

National-Bolsheviks In Nizhnii Call For Boycott Of Latvian Goods
The National Bolshevik Party (NBP) in Nizhnii Novgorod appealed to city residents to boycott goods produced by Latvian companies, NTA Privolzhe reported on 2 April. NBP activists said Russian organizations and citizens are persecuted and deprived of their civil rights in Latvia. the party's Nizhnii Novgorod committee claimed that 13 World War II veterans living in Latvia are currently under criminal investigation, while three members of the NBP in Latvia are imprisoned "under an absurd accusation of preparation of an assassination against Latvian President Vike-Freiberga." The committee warned that, if any Nizhnii Novgorod companies sign contracts with Latvian companies, it will organize protests.

Muslim Leader Killed In Tolyatti
Tolyatti Muslim group leader Abd ul-Karim Tajetdinov was killed by a blow to the head in his apartment building, NTA Privolzhe reported on 2 April, citing the head of the Volga Region Muslim Religious Board press service, Ekhmet Makhmetov. Makhmetov said, "The murder of the imam is a dangerous precedent revealing serious problems in public mentality of Tolyatti residents, loss of moral standards and spiritual crisis of the Russian people, as religious leaders in Russia always had a certain immunity." In October 1997, another Muslim leader in Tolyatti, local mosque head Irek Kerimov, was attacked and left disabled. After the assault, Tajetdinov, who also served at that mosque, left it and formed a religious group to teach the Arabic language and Islam to local Muslims.

'Putintsy' Group Formed In Tyumen
A public group titled Putintsy (Putin's Followers) was registered in Tyumen on 25 March, the day of the third anniversary of Vladimir Putin's election as Russian president, the Electronic News Agency reported on 28 March. Group organizers consider Putin their idol and its charter says the organization backs the president's domestic and foreign policy. Members announced they intend to establish order in all spheres of life, including doing repair work in a local school and on roads. The group also plans to set up a youth branch, Young Putin's Followers.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova